It is a common myth that pregnant women should not undergo traditional dental procedures because of high-risk factors. However, this is far from the truth. According to Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, “It’s not only 100 percent safe for pregnant women to go to the dentist, but it’s also a must. In fact, you’ll want to go more than usual—every two to three months.” Why? The rise in hormone levels causes the gums to swell, bleed and trap food, leading to increased gum irritation, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
While preventive dentistry is highly recommended during pregnancy, cosmetic dentistry is not. Says Cleveland cosmetic dentist John Heimke, DMD, “Pregnant women should definitely avoid whitening procedures, since the bleach could be harmful if swallowed. They should also avoid getting veneers and crowns while pregnant, due to the drugs in the anesthesia.” On the flip side, bonding—where tooth-colored plastic is sculpted over the teeth to hide chips, staining, and small breaks—is considered safe, since no anesthesia is administered. “If you’re considering cosmetic dentistry, like bonding or tooth contouring, the best time to go is in the second trimester. The baby is most vulnerable in the first trimester, and procedures done in the third trimester can potentially bring on early labor due to increased stress,” says New York City cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, as posted in NewBeauty.